Margaret "Molly" Tanaka
Portrayed By Dichen Lachman
Theme Song "I Have Not Been To Oxford Town" by David Bowie
Gender Female
Date of Birth September 16, 1985
Age 23
Zodiac Sign Virgo
Aliases M
Place of Birth Seattle, WA, USA
Occupation Artist
Known Relatives Henry Tanaka (father), Cathy Tanaka (mother), Jim Tanaka (older brother), Beckie Tanaka (younger sister)
Significant Other None
Powers Metallokinesis
First Appearance A Walk Home


TOUGH: Molly is a tough cookie. It is not easy living off your art, having worked in a more traditional man's field, or working in ways against your family's interests, but Molly does so, every day. Tough means that she does not shirk from obstacles but works to move through them. Tough means accepting bad breaks and not wailing about the unfairness of life. Tough means working all night long to make a deadline for submission. When the going gets tough, Molly gets going!

INTROVERT: Molly is the type that shrinks from a crowd and gets tired in the masses. This is not to mean she is shy, or a loner. Certainly not! But there are the people who love a crowd and get lifted by it. Not Molly. She finds calm settings with a few close friends far better than a mass crowd. She enjoys a big party, just not for too long and as long as she knows some of the people there. She will prefer to see movies in an early or late showing two days after the opening than be in one where ever seat is filled. Having a purpose at a large function helps her manage a lot. If she has a display at a gallery, she can handle the mob for a long time by focusing on her art, what it means, and so forth.

FORTHRIGHT: Molly believes you should say what you mean and mean what you say. A truth speaker and an open book, Molly has never believed in false flattery or lying. This does not mean she won't tell the occasional white lie or concoct the occasional excuse to get out of something, but when it matters, people can trust Molly to speak the truth and do what she said she was going to do.


METALLOKINESIS: Metallokinesis is the ability to mentally affect metals; including raising or lowering the density of metal, mentally moving metals around, reforming metals into any desired shape or completely covering oneself in said material, adding to the strength and endurance of the user.


DRIVING: Molly is an average driver, but comfortable driving both manual and automatic transmissions. She does not know how to drive a motorcycle, and couldn't even get into a trailer truck, but a little sporty Saab or a bulky Ford F-350 will not cause her any problem.

SELF-DEFENSE: Molly is a petite, pretty woman who lives on her own and often traverses Pioneer Square (remember those Mardi Gras riots in 2001? Same neighborhood) at night. As such, she has learned some basics of self-defense. While not a ninja by any sense, she can eye gouge, nut knee and foot stamp with the best of them.

WELDING: Molly is a Journeyman Welder and an sculptor of metals. As such she has a lot of practice in the art of putting one piece of metal next to another and applying heat so they stay that way.

ARTISTIC ABILITY: Molly has graduated from the Art Institute of Seattle and is a professional sculptor in metals. While this requires sheer ability to work metal (see Welding), it also requires skills in choosing materials, design, setting composition, and all the other practical abilities required to take an idea and translate it into a tangible work of art.


WORK/LIVE LOFT: Molly rents a loft that is zoned join residential and commercial, meaning it is where she lives and works at the same time. Part of artist cooperative, most of the people are like minded — serious artists who prize their work over their comfort. Thus she pays way to much for a place with bare amenities save one: space! Nearly 1500 square feet in a converted Pioneer Square warehouse, she has bad wiring, low water pressure, and enough room to weld two cars together if she could figure out how to get them down afterwards.

FULLY EQUIPPED STUDIO: Molly has spent a lot of time, money, and even a couple of grants, assembling a large collections of tools and materials for metal-based sculpting. As such she has welding tools (blow torch, welding equipment, heat resistant gear, welder's mask, etc), shaping tools, a large collection of scrap metals and metal wiring, and so forth. There are also twice as many fire extinguishers as required by law, given the volatile nature of her work.

CONTACTS: Molly has been a practicing artist in the Seattle Metropolitan area for 4 years. She is also very determined to succeed. So, besides working, she has also focused on making a network of gallery owners, potential patrons, fellow artists, and local academic institutions that might help her with work. With these contacts she can navigate that circles of art and culture in Seattle and generally live the avant garde lifestyle.

IRONWORKER JOURNEYMAN: Lots of metal sculptors take jobs here and there, under the radar, learning their trade. Molly actually believes in unions, and so instead of just doing the bare minimum to get the basics, she actually applied herself as an apprentice welder of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers. Having passed her apprenticeship, she is now a Journey Ironworker at Seattle Local 86. While not the first for jobs (her small size makes some of them impossible), she will pick up money at times by putting up with the crude jokes and the heavy lifting and work at the Seattle Port Authority or Boeing for short time gigs during overflow.

DRIVERS LICENSE: Molly has a Washington-state issued Driver's License and a clean driving record. She does not maintain insurance, nor does she have a car.


FULL TIME ARTIST: Molly has sold some pieces, gotten some work, but mostly she is a not-quite starving artist (she does non art work and has a grant to make ends meet). She wants to be a full time artist, and be recognized for it. She wants people to say "Oh! You want to commission a metal statue to celebrate the birth of your child? Then you should definitely check out Molly Tanaka." The money would be nice, but really want she wants to is do this for her work and not have to do anything else.

FAMILIAL RECONCILIATION: The Tanaka family are professionals that work 8 to 5 (or more) in a professional setting with high education. Henry Tanaka (her father) is an engineer with Boeing. Cathy Tanaka (her mother) is an office manager for a law firm. Jim Tanaka (her older brother) is in residency at Virginia Mason with plans to go in to Internal Medicine. And Molly is an artist. While this has not divorced her from her family, everyone assumes it is a phase she is going through. She has good skills as a welder and could make a solid (if blue collar living). But her boheme lifestyle is not okay and something that is not discussed much. She strives to make her family okay with her professional choice.

GAY RIGHTS: Molly is not a lesbian. She does not have a woman partner, nor is she looking for one. She is mostly disinterested in that regard. But the current culture against gay marriage and gay rights as a whole pisses her off. As such she contributes to the ACLU when she can, supports gay causes, and otherwise works to try and make the culture of Seattle (easy sell) and the world (less so) gay friendly. Ideally, she would like to see same sex couples and mix sex couples have exactly the same standing in society.


STUBBORN: Molly has tenacity to stand up to artistic criticism, to familial disapproval, and all the other slings of misfortune life can throw at her. Unfortunately, sometimes that means she does not let go of something when she should. She will hold onto an idea, a practice, a plan or an action far longer than she should and does not admit she is wrong easily.

PRAISE SEEKER: Despite how much she tries to be tough and resolute and self-sufficient, she has dealt with a lot of rejection. As such, she is a sucker for praise, and flattery. It makes her swoon. She can easily be manipulated on this front (especially as she is forthright in nature) and can be hurt when she is not recognized for her good actions.

DRUG SUSCEPTIBILITY: Due to Molly's low body mass and irregular eating habits, she is extremely susceptible to drug effects. One drink is like 3 to a normal person, second hand marijuana smoke can get her high, and other drugs hit her a lot harder. As such, she tries to avoid such, but has been known to have a glass of wine now and then to comic results.


Molly Tanaka was born in Seattle, the second of three children. Her father is an engineer at Boeing and her mother is the office manager of a law firm in down town Seattle. As an upper middle class child she lived in a nice area of town (Queen Anne), went to a good school, had friends, and was a normal girl in all respects. However, unlike her friends (of which she had some that were close to her, but not a lot), she loved making things with her hands. As she grew up, she was more interested in clay than dolls, in tinker toys than Easy-Bake Ovens.

In the 10th grade, to the scandal of her parents, she took an elective of general shop instead of yet another science class. She learned to carve wood, weld, and make circuit boards. The welding, she loved the welding. It was her calling, at least for the 2 weeks of the unit. Afterwards, she bought a soldering gun with her allowance and made all sorts of little things with used soup cans. Totem poles, human figures, abstract designs — the Tanaka house has the most interesting recycling Waste Management, Inc., had ever seen.

Tolerated by her parents, the next bombshell dropped when Molly's Senior Year arrived, the time when people decided what they wanted to do with their lives. Molly wanted to make things with her hands, with metal. She loved metal, and wanted to create pictures and feelings and emotions with it. Thus, after many weeks of fights and glowering silences, Molly finally managed to persuade her parents to let her apply to the Art Institute of Seattle, where she was accepted. There she learned design, composition, and material components.

Her parents, annoyed but loving their daughter, paid for part of it and made her get student loans for the rest, but demanded she get a practical skill as well. Thus, at the same time, she apprenticed as a welder with the Ironworkers. This did not make her parents happy, but it did fulfill their requirements. Working diligently with just as much focus as her older brother in Medical School, she managed to finish both an apprenticeship and a 4-year degree. Her father helped her get contract work at Boeing to earn her way into Journeyman status, and she also picked up jobs at the Port of Seattle.

After a year of living at home, hard work, and a some local endowments, Molly had earned enough money to start her dream. She rented a live/work loft in Pioneer square at an artists cooperative and got her studio set up. Borrowing, begging, and even stealing, she got everything she needed to start doing her art. In December, 2008, she submitted a design for and was awarded one Downtown Seattle Association's Nutcracker Statues. Mindful of both popularity and art, she designed her Nutcraker to be a cross between Santa Claus and Iron Man (which had come out earlier that year). She has had other displays as well of a non-pandering nature. Three pieces at Art Not Terminal were shown for 2 weeks (and she sold two!). She composed a dong monster. Resembling a sort of Cookie Monster from Sesame Street, this lovable and highly-phallused metal creation premiered at the art auction of the 2008 Exotic-Erotic Ball. It sold for more than she could ever have imagined. Thus Seattle finds Molly Tanaka as a young and emerging artist, a worker of metal and heat to create objects of art from materials usually resigned to bridges and refrigerators. It is a hard existence, but she loves every minute of it.

Molly, though, has a secret. A deep dark secret. It happened just a month ago. Despite all her skill and practice and patience, a creation was just not happening. She tried and tried, but she could not make the the wings look like a crows wings. For 18 hours straight she worked on the metal, shaping it with the blow torch and adding texture with industrial diamond wool and it looked like crow droppings, not crow wings. Finally, she lots it. In a cleansing bit of catharsis she tore apart the metal, screaming at it to fly like a bird, goddammit! And then, it did. The lump of sheet metal, worked and reworked, melt in her hands and formed into the shape of a crow and flew around the loft until it moved too far from her and fell with a thud to her floor. With a migraine and a serious case of freaking out, she nearly ran to a friendly neighbor, but then she understood. She was a mutant. Her love for metal caused her to mutate. Or maybe it was the other way around. Either way, she was in trouble. She was illegal. A deviant. A freak.

Except she could do what she wanted all her life. She could take metal and make it do whatever she wanted. Though touch was not required, she was able to twist and turn metal easily. For weeks she practiced and got better. No more migraines. No more freaking out. Mutant or not, Molly worked metal.

Never revealed, never told to anyone at all, Molly became a master Iron Worker, making any metal structure she wanted by only wishing it. Maybe now, finally, she can be the artist she always wanted to be, and earn the respect and acceptance she has always desired.


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